February 26, 2013

Postgame Breakdown: An Island breeze

By Jesse Connolly

Tyler Seguin set up two of the Bruins' four goals against the Isles Tuesday. (Getty Images)

Final: Boston 4, New York 1

Recap: With less than seven minutes gone in the first period, Adam McQuaid ripped a shot from the point past Evgeni Nabokov to give Boston the early lead. Casey Cizikas knotted thiings up in the closing minutes of the opening frame.

The Bruins reclaimed the lead in the second when Brad Marchand notched his 10th tally of the season. David Krejci stretched the lead to two before the period was over.

Boston kept pushing in the third, but Nabokov was simply fantastic and helped the Isles hang around. They couldn't muster anything against Tuukka Rask, though, as the Finnish netminder stopped all 14 shots he faced in the final frame.

Records: Boston 12-2-2, 26 points; New York 8-11-1, 17 points

Key Play of the Game: The first goal of the game was such a great example of the kind of hockey Tyler Seguin's been playing of late. After receiving a hard pass in stride from Patrice Bergeron as he crossed the blue line, No. 19 went down into the corner and the puck got loose He outmuscled a defender, jetted back up toward the half wall and hit an open McQuaid. The goal set the tone for the rest of the evening.

Connolly's Commendations: We've already covered Seguin's feats in the victory, so we'll add this in: The winger stretched his point streak to five games (one goal, five assists).

Great job by the Bruins defense of completely neutralizing the dangerous top line of Matt Moulson, John Tavares and Brad Boyes. The three were held pointless and were a combined minus-9 on the night. Yeeouch. 

Three cheers for the veteran Nabokov playing out of his mind to keep the Isles in it. The Russian netminder was sensational in the final frame, during which he robbed Patrice Bergeron of at least two goals and a host of other B's in their bid to bury New York late.

It's been an awfully bumpy start to the season for Andrew Ference, but No. 21 had his best game of the season on Long Island Tuesday with an assist and a game-high, plus-3 rating.

Connolly's Critiques: If you can find something worth complaining about from this game, I'd love to know what it is.

Notes: Seguin's first assist gave him the 100th point of his NHL career. Tonight was Zdeno Chara's 40th game against the Isles, who selected him 56th overall in the 1996 NHL Draft. In those 40 games, Big Z is plus-11 and has 31 points.

Final Thoughts: The Islanders claimed they had to play intense, aggressive hockey tonight in order to beat the Bruins. If they're satisfied with their effort, someone's gone and switched the definition of intense and aggressive without telling me, 'cause that wasn't exactly a performance for the ages by the home team tonight at Nassau Coliseum.

Next: The Bruins will now return home to host the surging Senators on Thursday night.

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ
Email: jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com